The federal government is keenly aware of the fact that many Maryland nursing homes, as well as nursing homes across the country, routinely provide residents with an insufficient level of care. For this reason, each year, the federal government releases a report detailing the state of the country’s nursing homes. This June, Senators Casey (D-PA) and Toomey (R-PA) released a report entitled “Families’ and Residents’ Right to Know: Uncovering Poor Care in America’s Nursing Homes.”
The report begins by noting that aging citizens who live in nursing homes too often experience “outright neglect,” and that some residents are subjected to physical or sexual abuse. In an attempt to reduce the number of homes exposing residents to this neglect and abuse, the federal government implemented the Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. The SFF program seeks to identify the most problematic nursing homes across the country and increase supervision over these facilities. Once a facility is in the SFF program, it must be inspected no less than once every six months. Non-participants must be inspected once every 15 months.
The selection process for the SFF program focuses on those nursing homes that “persistently underperform in required inspections.” Under the SFF program, up to 88 nursing homes are selected, which amounts to less than .6 percent of all skilled care facilities in the United States. These facilities are referred to as “participants,” and the government releases the name of the facility to the public to assist potential residents in making important care decisions.
An additional 2.5 percent of facilities that are identified as having a “persistent record of poor care” qualify for the program. These names of these facilities, which are referred to as “candidates,” are not made public. Thus, potential residents will not be aware that a facility is a candidate for the SFF program, even though these facilities have documented records of deficiencies. However, Senators Casey and Toomey recently wrote a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asking for the names of the facilities that were listed as candidates for the SFF program.
The CMS responded to the Senators’ letter by providing a full list of all 400 facilities on the “candidate” list. Among those facilities on the list are four in Maryland and four in Virginia. There is also one nursing home each in Maryland and Virginia that are participants in the SFF program.
Is Your Loved One at Risk in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and are concerned that they are not receiving the care that they need and deserve, contact the experienced Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have assembled a dedicated team of compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys to represent nursing home residents and their families in cases against abusive and neglectful nursing home staff members and administrators. To learn more about how we can help you bring a claim for the injuries your loved one has endured, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.